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Leadership and T'ai Chi

In a recent dinner with friends, a comment was made that inspired this post.  The inspirational comment was “I am going to t’ai chi my way through this”.  What an excellent thing to do, as t’ai chi can be a real stress reliever. 

So let’s start with basics what is t’ai chi?  T’ai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.  If you live near a Chinese community, you might have noticed a group of older people doing what looks like group exercise, this is most likely t’ai chi.  It is a low impact focused form of exercise that does not require any specialist equipment so other than the instructor or teacher it is free.

And a few facts:-

•    A gentle way to fight stress. Studies at the Mayo clinic have found that t’ai chi can relieve stress and anxiety.

•    It is around 2000 years old

•    In China over 10 million people practice t'ai chi daily

•    It promotes physical and mental balance

There are five essential qualities to t’ai chi that maps brilliantly to qualities a good leader should have, giving you an even better reason to practice t’ai chi.  These qualities are: -

  • Slowness. To develop awareness. 
    • Great leaders need to be aware of the signals around them so they can be ready for change, both big and small.
  • Lightness. To make movements flow. 
    • Leaders are the drum beat of the business and ensuring fluid flow throughout an organisation will allow collaboration, problem-solving and innovation to blossom and grow.
  • Balance. To prevent body strain. 
    • If an organisation has stress in one part, like operations or sales, then the whole team will start to suffer.  A good leader will recognise when one part of the company has too much strain and work to get back to a balanced, unstrained environment.
  • Calmness. To maintain continuity. 
    • The role of leaders in the business is to ensure sustainability, and the stability of talent, service and direction is critical to success.
  • Clarity. To focus the mind. 
    • Leadership needs to have time to think and reflect.  A focused refreshed and an open mind will build a better business than one that is tired and closed.

There are many benefits of learning t’ai chi from reducing stress to gaining additional insight and wisdom into characteristics of leadership.  And maybe adopt my friend's advice and “t’ai chi your way through” your next emergency, crisis or just a tough day at work.

Picture Source  Golf Dash Blog

Written by Mary Sue Rogers

Posted On : 10-04-16

Commented by:  Joanne Olson

well, you know i believe in the zen or tai chi of terrific advice which translates to reality...even if not a golfer.

Posted On : 06-05-16

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